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Typical birder?

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  • Typical birder?

    I am working on some research into the bird market and hoped you can help steer me in the right lines about "typical" bird watchers.

    Any behaviours / profiles I've missed out?

    1. Beginner 30% - “what’s this bird”
    Obssessed with the visual identification and in need of help from website forums like this, or books.

    2. Garden birder 10% - “I love seeing birds on my bird table”
    Garden birders are casual, incidental bird watchers. They enjoy feeding and watching birds who visit their garden. They don't travel to see birds.

    3. Passionate – 30 %
    “Let’s see the migrating Swans coming into land” - a weekend birder who sometimes travels to see rarer birds. Will invest in good kit to help with hobby.

    4.Obsessives 30% - “One thing that happens to you, you get to where you want to carry your binoculars everywhere.”
    They will travel to see new birds and to catch another glimpse of their favourite birds. They are also very keen on tracking the birds’ migratory patterns. There are also rarity bird seekers who want to hear about the latest sightings immediately and will then travel for long distances to locate a rare bird species. These are the most passionate of birders as they will keep lists of “observed birds”.

  • #2
    I'm not sure that I can speak for the whole of the world but at least in Britain (and most of Europe) I would split slightly differently. In my head these levels increase in competence and are not necessarily mutually exclusive. If anyone cares, I count myself in category 3 with some brief flashes of 4 and a desire to arrive at 5!

    1 - Interested Non-Birdwatcher: Feeds the birds in the garden, is probably a member of a conservation group such as the RSPB can identify the common, everyday species that visit the garden. May casually watch birds away from the garden.

    2 - Interested Birdwatcher: Will be able to recognize the majority of the species common wintering and breeding spieces and will go on walks/outings with binoculars and watch the birds encountered. Will probably be able to identify common species on song. Probably keeps a list of species seen.

    3 - Birder: Most likely to own a telescope and will actively go to look for birds. Will probably have quite good knowledge of the basic biology, ecology and migration strategies of birds and be able to identify a wide range of species in various plumages. Will be willing to travel to sites where unusual or scarce species are known to be present and to twitch occasionally. Will have a good knowledge of songs and calls. Will probably go on birding breaks or go birdwatching when abroad. Will have a complete list and will enjoy adding species to that list. Will keep notes and send sightings to the local recorder.

    4 - Obsessive: Twitcher. Willing to plough money into seeing new species in a particular geographical area. Will have spent plenty on optics, pagers, flights and petrol. May have detailed knowledge of identification and ecology (may not though!). Will travel abroad in order to add species to the list

    5 - Semi-scientific birder: Obsessive not only in seeing birds but in finding birds. Will have detailed knowledge of avian biology/ecology together with knowledge of migration routes, times and weather patterns. Will have very good identification skills of nearly all of the species in the larger geographical area and beyond. Will carefully plan breaks/holidays often to areas where the quality is likely to be greater than the quantity of rare/scarce species and the number of other birders is likely to be low. Will probably have a serious interest in conservation. (most people who belong in category 5 would deny ever being in category 4 while some people in category 4 would claim to be in category 5)

    6 - Ornithologist - Scientist, often highly specialised and some have quite narrow interests and wouldn't even go birding. Others become Obs/NR wardens and remain a little 5 or strive for 6.

    Right, that's probably offended most people.......


    • #3
      i think that they have all been covered, i can slot myself into no.3 but with fringes of no.4



      • #4
        A rather odd post, me thinks. I would be interested in knowing who you are, where you are, what the purpose of this "research" is, and how you arrived at these percentages which you quote.